To do lists. They can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things for us busy creatives in this day and age. That nagging feeling of having one more thing to do take care of never seems to go away, no matter how much we accomplish each day, week, month or even year.
While checking things off can boost your mood for a bit, the list always goes on. There are a few ways to make this process a little bit easier on yourself and I’m sharing my favorite tips here.
Have a place for collecting all of the small details that need to be handled. This could be for your life + business projects.
I keep a small notebook in my purse to write down items that come to mind when I am out and about, this is good for things that I need to do around my house or personal items like scheduling a hair appointment or picking up a gift.
For business projects, I do brain dumps of all the things I need to accomplish in my biz notebook. The idea here is to get it all out on paper without worrying about how you’re going to make those ideas happen. Somehow this takes the edge off since all of those items are not swarming around in your mind.
Now that you have everything laid out there, you still might feel a bit overwhelmed at the list.
Just be at peace though, because we’re going to make this easier on you.
It requires checking in with your list of general to-dos once per day (or so) + your project to-dos once per week to schedule them out. And it should only take a few minutes to do this.
For those items that you need to be reminded of, use a reminder app on your phone or set a calendar reminder. As an example, I set a reminder for an important phone call I needed to make after work on Tuesday this past week.
Then I schedule out my project actions at some point every weekend for the week ahead. For example, I scheduled to prepare for this blog for the day I was traveling. I put in my planner in my list of tasks for that day. (If you want to read more about how I distinguish between what I put in my Google Calendar and my paper planner, I have a post on that. Click HERE to read it.)
The last and most vital part is to actually put into action what you’ve written down and schedule out.
Do you have the time + space to do the work?
Are you equipped + prepared to cross each task off your list?
This part takes focus + dedication, but more than that it requires knowing your limitations. This plays into the scheduling piece, you want to make sure you aren’t over-booking yourself for any given time frame.
It also includes being flexible + compassionate enough with yourself to push back some of those tasks to a later date if you can’t complete them when you expected to. Just make sure you take a moment to reschedule it, so it doesn’t escape your sight and mind completely.
This will save your sanity, I promise. (Tweet this!)
Consider this post a little bit of inspiration to get you in the right frame of mind for this ‘expanding to do list’ season ahead of us.
But for today (if you are in the US at least, or even if you are not), the only thing you need to do is enjoy a great meal with your friends + family and express gratitude for the beautiful life you are leading.
If you’re feeling generous, I’d love to hear the one thing you do to conquer your to do list during the holidays. Just leave a comment below.
And if you know someone who needs to de-stress their to do list, please share this post with them.